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Traumatic brain injury increases the risk of developing Parkinson's disease

During the research, it was found that TBI is one of the key factors leading to the destruction of neurons directly related to the development of Parkinson's disease.

TBI can occur due to various injuries to the head and skull. The severity of the injury and the consequences also vary greatly. In some cases, TBI requires rehabilitation, since the effects prevents one from leading a normal lifestyle. Also, the presence of trauma contributes to the development of certain pathologies, including ischemic stroke and other brain disorders.

The complications caused by traumatic brain injury are diverse and range from simple headache up to long-term problems with memory and thinking. However, few people know that such injuries increase the risk of developing such a disease as Parkinson's disease at a later stage. Parkinson's disease is caused by degenerative changes in neurons - brain cells. This condition affects approximately 1-2% of the population aged 65 years. The most typical symptom of Parkinson's disease is tremor.

During clinical trials conducted on rats, scientists found that 15% of rats after TBI experienced a loss of brain cells known as nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons. Nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurons involved in the production of dopamine play an important role in regulating movement. Its degeneration progressed to 30% over the next 26 weeks. The loss of these neurons leads to motor abnormalities, including akinesia, postural tremor and rigidity. In addition, it was proven that when combined with another known risk factor for Parkinson's disease (the effect of the pesticide paraquat, a herbicide widely used throughout world), the loss of neurons developed 30% faster. The similar processes occur in humans. One cannot immediately notice the first manifestations of the disease, since this requires significant damage to neurons.

Also, scientists studied the long-term and short-term effects of traumatic brain injury combined with small doses of paraquat. With short-term symptoms, neuronal destruction increased by 15% and with the addition of paraquat it reached 30%. With long-term symptoms, 30% of the neurons were destroyed without the effect of the herbicide. After analyzing the results, it was found that attention should be paid to long-term effects, since they have a destructive effect on the body for a long time.

Thus, this study showed that traumatic brain injury does not cause Parkinson's disease, but it contributes to its development in the future.

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